The nutrition world is full of recommendations and suggestions on different foods and drinks that are available. Although there is a lot of fluff out there, I do agree with the recommendation of getting protein, healthy fats and fiber in at every meal can help one to lose of maintain their weight. A good ingredient that has all three and is easy to add to most meals is – hemp seed!
Hemp plants are cultivated for their fibers, seeds, oils, and meal. Hemp is rarely affected by pests and disease, making it quite hardy while providing several nutritional benefits.
Hemp seeds offers 180 calories per 3 tablespoon serving with 10 g of protein, 2.5 g of omega-3s, 2 g of fiber, 2 g of carbohydrates, and 20% of our daily iron needs. If this serving is a bit too high in calories for you, than just use 1 tablespoon which equals 60 calories and 3.3 g of protein.
- Hemp seeds contain all 20 amino acids including the 9 essential amino acids that our bodies are not able to produce (so we need to get them through our diet)
- Is a great plant-based protein source and is easily digestible
- High in trace minerals, and vitamin E (known for being a great antioxidant)
- Is the highest botanical source of essential fatty acids
- Has a balanced 3:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids to help with heart health and strengthening of the immune system
- Rich source of phytonutrients
- A disease-protective element that aids in our immunity, bloodstream, tissues, cells, skin, organs, and mitochondria
I use smoothies and salads as a main go-to because it is an easy way to get a variety of plant-based foods all at once. Hemp seeds are great to add into both, however, if smoothies and salads aren’t really your style, Than you can add hemp seed on the top of your oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, muffins or pancake batter. There is also hemp oil available and is great in foods like breads, added to your salads, or can have a tablespoon by itself. You can also use grinded hemp seeds or hemp flour while baking.
Note: The oils in hemp seeds can go rancid quickly, it is best to keep cool and use quickly. Heating hemp seeds can destroy the nutritional benefits of the fatty acids, therefore, add the hemp seeds to foods after cooking to get the most bang for your buck in the nutritional department.